Father, open up our hearts and minds to hear what you are saying to us through your word today. Give us wisdom and insight to apply and use what you are teaching us! Today’s reading is: 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5 (The Message)
3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
Last Sunday’s message was about being a good neighbor - based on the story of the Good Samaritan. It was about being compassionate and merciful and moving beyond the dull life of following lists... to a life of loving and being available for God to use!
I always wondered what the man (the one helped by the Samaritan) did after he healed up and went on his way. Did he use what had happened to him to help someone else? Was he more compassionate to others because of the compassion shown to him by the Samaritan? Was he able to talk to others who had been robbed and beat up and tell them there is healing and hope on the other side of the wounds? This is what the passage in 2 Corinthians is talking about. Using our hardships and trials to bless and help other people. I think it’s amazing how God can use the horrible trials in our lives to bring peace and comfort to someone else.
What He requires from us, is that we be willing to be transparent about our trials, our challenges, our shortcomings, and our bad decisions. If we can do that, we receive comfort and freedom by sharing them and the other person receives comfort in knowing others have been through the same thing. They also receive wisdom for next steps because we’ve been through it before. God redeems - but He needs us to be a good neighbor, a good sharer, and available!
Today’s passage praises God for the hard times, because we see God’s healing and comfort during those times. Now that’s moving beyond the dull life of worry and regret! When we look at the hard times as opportunities that God is giving us to help someone down the road, then it becomes an adventure. I don’t want to down play the horrible things that we sometimes have to endure because of our sin, someone else’s sin, or our sinful society - but it does help to know that there’s a God of comfort beside us and a God of redemption that we can count on to heal us and use us to help someone else in their time of need. It brings hope to a hopeless situation!
What are your thoughts on today’s passage? I would love to hear them!